Hyderabad: Appreciating the support and funds provided by the Centre, national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Monday said more needs to be done for sport in the country, like grooming talent at the grass-roots level and developing physical literacy.
"Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Government of India have been hugely supportive and especially the top players have benefited tremendously from the kind of exposure and the money which the government has spent," he told reporters at Hydrebad.
"We need to acknowledge the fact that they have done a fantastic job. The (Badminton) Association has been very supportive," he said.
Gopichand arrived here this morning along with Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu to a grand welcome at Hyderabad International Airport.
"At the end of the day, there are things, which need to be improved. There's lot more funding, which is needed. Things like grooming at grass-roots level and physical literacy also need focus."
On what it takes to produce a star player like Sindhu, Gopichand said, "There is a need to put in hard work for several years and with one who guides properly...correct manner.
"I am grateful to the entire group of team and staff (at Gopichand Academy), who tirelessly kept pushing. And these are the victories which give us the energy to push. By no means it is a one man's effort...my parents, my wife and my kids, who are not seen too often. The result we get...people like Sindhu, who are ready to push and parents who are ready to help them," he added.
On Kidambi Srikanth, he said, "Srikanth gave his heart out and played fantastic in two matches against tough opponents. He lost a close one to Lin Dan, which I thought he could have been won," said Gopichand.
But coach added that he was happy with Srikanth's progress and gutsy performance of going out there and giving his best.
India's shot at a medal in men's singles badminton at the Rio Olympics ended after Srikanth lost to world no 3 Lin Dan of China in a men's singles quarterfinal match.